Kiplinger's Magazine Ranks SMCM #2 'Best Value' in Maryland - Southern Maryland Headline News

Kiplinger's Magazine Ranks SMCM #2 'Best Value' in Maryland


Third in Nation and First in State for Four-Year Graduation Rate

ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. (Nov. 9, 2008)—Its outstanding academic quality and affordable price tag have once again put St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM) in Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine's top 100 "best values in public colleges for the 2008-2009 school year." Kiplinger's newly published rankings place SMCM at number two in Maryland for best value, behind only the University of Maryland, College Park. The college's 2009 ranking nationally is 32 for in-state, up 10 places since the last Kiplinger's ratings were published early this year.

In the 2008-2009 survey, SMCM is also rated highest in the state for its four-year graduation rate and third in the nation. With 75.2 percent of students graduating after four years, SMCM ranks behind only the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia. The college's six-year graduation rate, at 82.7 percent, is also the highest in Maryland.

"We are indebted to our faculty for their remarkable commitment to our students. They deserve full credit for our exceptional graduation rates-third in the nation and highest in the State of Maryland," said SMCM President Jane Margaret O'Brien.

Sixty-two percent of SMCM students needing financial aid get it, which put SMCM at number two in the state, just behind Towson University.

The SMCM student-faculty ratio, at 12 to 1, is the highest in the state and ranked fourth nationally.

In the out-of-state rankings for best value, which substitute out-of-state cost of tuition and aid in the rankings calculation, SMCM placed 21st nationally.

Kiplinger's annual rankings are compiled from data on more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities. The magazine bases its findings on a combination of factors that result in outstanding academic quality and affordability. Measures of academic quality include factors such as the percentage of the 2008-2009 freshman class scoring 600 or higher on the verbal and math components of the SAT (or scoring 24 or higher on the ACT); admission rates; freshman retention rates; student-faculty ratios; and four- and six-year graduation rates, which most schools reported for the student cohort entering in 2002. The magazine then ranks each school based on cost and financial aid for in-state and out-of-state students.

To view the rankings, visit http://content.kiplinger.com/tools/colleges/pubcollege.php?sortby=INRA.

Source: St. Mary's College of Maryland

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